August 16th, 2007
08:52 AM ET
14 years ago

Rove slams 'fatally flawed' Clinton

Rove sharply criticized Clinton Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He may plan to take a break from presidential politics, but soon-to-be ex-White House aide Karl Rove isn't holding back when it comes to his critique of Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.

On conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh's show Wednesday, Rove predicted the New York Democrat would win her party's nomination but said she was "fatally flawed" and would ultimately lose the race for the White House.

"There is no frontrunner who has entered the primary season with negatives as high as she has in the history of modern polling," said Rove, who announced Tuesday he was resigning his White House post. (Listen to Rove's comments on Bush, Clinton)

"She is going into the general election, depending on what poll you look at, with high forties on the negative side and just below that on the positive side. There is nobody who has ever won the presidency who has started out in that position," the man also known as "Bush's brain" added. (Related: Clinton happy to give Rove 'heartburn')

Rove also fired back at Clinton's recent campaign ad in which the former First Lady states, "If you're a family that is struggling and you don't have health care, you are invisible to this president."

"I am a little surprised she jumped out there and made such an accusation when she has a record so spotty and poor on health care issues," he said.

Phil Singer, a Clinton spokesman, brushed aside Rove's critique of her favorability numbers, saying, "It sounds like Karl Rove is writing Sen. Obama's talking points."

"The reality is that as the campaign now gets under way, Sen. Clinton's ratings are improving because Americans are seeing that she has the strength and experience to deliver change," he added. Rove's final retreat 

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Karl Rove
soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. Fingers, Newark, NJ

    Because of Bush, Cheney, and Rove no republican will win the White House for many years. Thanks to these three incompetent liars Clinton will most likely win.

    August 16, 2007 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  2. michelle birmingham al

    hiliary clinton your neat

    August 16, 2007 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  3. Karen Rothfuss, Waterloo, NY

    If Karl Rove is considered "Bush's Brain," then it is unfortunate that he did not resign his post years ago. I am
    tired of hearing the Hillary bashing. Hillary has been in the political eye a long time. She puts herself out there, which can be risky. But I don't see her behaving in a vacume, the way the Bush administration has. As to Karl Rove, good riddance.

    August 16, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  4. dur, Huntington, WV

    I am certainly not a great fan of Hillary, but I would defend her to the end of the world against Rove or any of Bush's cronies. The sanctimonious, pompous, arrogance of the whole lot makes my skin crawl. No wonder the migaration rate to Canada was at a 30 year high last year. I look forward to the day when the entire Bush administration is held accountable for their crimes against humanity.

    August 16, 2007 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  5. Mac, Detroit, MI

    Tom G.: I hope you're joking.

    Rove's statement is valid and, in my opinion, the truth. It would be true no matter who had said it. She is horribly polarizing and completely bipartisan and divisive and, honestly, the Bush administration has already done a marvelous job of dividing our country. Let's not let Hillary take over where they leave off, hm?

    August 16, 2007 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  6. Bonnie Bell, Raleigh, NC

    Mr Rove ought to know by now that most Americans do not share his or George Bush's views on anything!!!!!

    August 16, 2007 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  7. Randy, Lakeland, Florida

    I am a die hard Democrat and proud of it. However, I will have to look to the other side of the aisle if Mrs. Clinton should get the nomination for our party. I do not trust her in the least little bit. The man to lead our party and this nation is Barack Obama.

    August 16, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  8. Chip Celina OH

    " I think those of you who persist in labeling Senator Clinton “shrill” just can’t face a powerful woman ..."

    One of the things that really bothers me about her when she speaks and uses her hands is that the hands movs in time with each syllable spoken. The tone of voice is that of a grade school principal having to emphasize everything a syll-a-ble at a time so that all of us that aren't nearly as 'intellectual' as her get it.

    That would be fine if she were explaining quantum physics, but quoting tired old campaign slogans in this manner just wears me out.

    Have a great day,


    August 16, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  9. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Gotta agree with Der Architect: simply unelectable, poison for Congressional candidates, divisive, shrill, inauthentic, not the woman to be first woman President.

    August 16, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  10. E.Hart, Utica, NY

    Correct me if I am wrong. Did everyone have health care when Clinton was in office? I felt pretty invisible then and have always. It doesn't matter WHO is President. Her hubby's admin didnt' treat anybody any different than this admin. Her hubby didn't have 9/11 but they were planning while her hubby's was in office- I guess she forgot her hubby's eight years were a joke too.

    August 16, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  11. J. Paska, Quincy, Illinois

    America is plainly going in the wrong direction, and Karl Rove was the bandleader. I will vote to bring my Brothers-in-Arms home – ASAP. In the meantime, Impeach Cheney, please!

    August 16, 2007 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  12. Jeff, Reston, VA

    Hey Joel, The score is even. Clinton's Sandy Burglar, er Berger, was convicted among others in the Clinton presidency, whereas Scooter was the only one in the Bush presidency to be convicted of a crime. So the score's even. What's your point? Where is Ron Brown anyway?

    August 16, 2007 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  13. Anonymous

    Hillary had to move to NY to get elected. Did any of the other candidates have to do that? A senator has run and lost for the Dems how many times? Yet the dems will still insist on running a senator, instead of a govenor. After two terms of GW, are the voters really ready for another polarizing leader? No matter how much you hate Rove, there is no arguing that he is very smart...look who he got into the White House. If Rove says she is in trouble, then she is. By the way, do you really think Rove is done with politics? Fred Thompson is calling...

    August 16, 2007 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  14. John A, Atlanta,Ga

    guess I'm naive BUT wouldn't it be nice to have all candidates talk only about what they would do for this once great country rather than continuously degrade their rivals????????

    August 16, 2007 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  15. Steve H., Bowling Green, KY

    Hillary really, really cares about the "little guys." Signed, White House Travel staff.

    August 16, 2007 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  16. Sean Robbins, Indianapolis Indiana

    Eh, when anyone from the bush party speaks, I make it a point to not listen. I would rather waste my time shopping at Wal-mart buying toys from China with led based paint.

    August 16, 2007 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  17. James, Minneapolis, MN

    How is it possible for someone to be watching her in public life for the past twenty years?

    August 16, 2007 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  18. JWNicholson

    Amazing! Karl Rove talking about negative poll numbers. He's overlooking that his boy has the worst poll numbers of anyone. If GWB ran for any office today, he'd go down in flames along with the rest of his corrupt, incompetent crew.

    August 16, 2007 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  19. JFK Phoenix, AZ

    Its ironic that Rove can call Clinton flawed when the Administration he works for has horrible records on most issues. It is ironic since the Bush Administration has repeatedly demonstrated how inept and corrupt they are. We have a President that doesn't care about health care, our borders, balancing our budgets, or telling us the truth! These men need to check themselves before they speak.

    August 16, 2007 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  20. David Farb, Wilmette, Il

    Is it true that Hillary's real name is Dolores Umbridge?

    August 16, 2007 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  21. Brian Hayes Antigo, Wisconsin

    Boy, I'm sure sorry I missed Bush's brain on the Limbo show. What did they call the show dumb and dumber? I am going to save the comment by the liar Rove about Hillary and after she wins the presidency I'm going to frame it. Way to go Rove, you are one sorry excuse for a human being.

    August 16, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  22. Tom, Wind Lake- Wisconsin

    All I can say is "Go Hillary, Go!!" And drag down the entire Democratic Party with you!" The Republican candidate will win in November 2008!!

    August 16, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  23. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Hawk, I realize it is so much simpler to say that it is just Republicans hammering Hillary than to face the truth that it is Obama, Edwards and Biden supporters as well.

    Again one must ask why is this "story" is still on top of the ticker after so many days?

    CNN wants to give the appearance that "their" candidate is fighting the "vast right-wing conspiracy".

    I have no use for Rove at all, but someone has to tell Shrilary that Bush and his brain "aint" running again.

    If you want to see how a Republican Governor and a Democratic legislature can WORK TOGETHER on health care reform (not SOCIALIZED medicine), see Massachusetts and how Romney got it done here with their HELP.

    She had 8 years and did squat because it was a flawed bill that would have SOCIALIZED it, won't work.

    Romney said it best when he stated, do we really want the same type of beaurocrats in charge of Health care that were in charge of Katrina??

    No way.

    August 16, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  24. Christina West Haven, CT

    Karl Rove has done nothing for the average American for the past 8 years. He has no right to talk on Clinton's prospects. He and 'his' presidency will go down in the history books as one of the most corrupt of our time.

    Though he and the Bush people can't see it now...their time in tenure reeks of Alien and Sedition Acts, corrupt violations of people's first amendment rights, and totally controlled by big business. They give Republicans a bad name.

    August 16, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  25. pete, austin, tx

    rove is hardly an objective observer.

    August 16, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19